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Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble Book Poster Image
Cranky kitty gets territorial in funny kitten tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The chapter breaks ("Fun Facts with Uncle Murray") are full of information about cats' social and living habits, and the book centers on the idea of living together despite differences.

Positive Messages

Kitty learns to empathize with displaced kittens, even after spending most of the book insulting them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kitty is stubborn, territorial, antagonistic, but eventually comes around to idea that sharing won't be the end of the world.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble is feisty, fast-paced, and funny, like the other books in Nick Bruel's hit series. Kids will enjoy seeing the prickly, obstinate Kitty try to torment the paperboy and defend her territory from kittens. There's a not-so-subtle message about immigration when displaced kittens show up on Kitty's doorstep and everyone is faced with sharing space and toys. The trivia pages full of cat facts are a great addition to the illustrations, and are more extensive than readers would expect in a graphic novel-style early chapter book. 

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What's the story?

In BAD KITTY: KITTEN TROUBLE, the persnickety Kitty is faced with fostering kittens whose shelter burned down, leaving the animals homeless. Kitty is already in a bad mood and planning retribution because the paperboy hits her with the newspaper every day, and the idea of sharing her food, house, and toys with the kittens puts her over the edge. She tries to get Uncle Murray's help but soon finds that helping the kittens, who have nowhere to go, might not be the worst thing in the world.

Is it any good?

This funny, fast-paced story of taking in suddenly homeless kittens imparts a not-so-subtle message about immigration. Young readers will enjoy the eye-popping illustrations and the main character's overreactions, and, as in other books in the series, the blend of humor and eventual empathy is front and center. But the empathy and story feel forced, with Kitty's simplistic, angry reactions geared more toward the younger end of the publisher's recommended age range (7-10), opposite the more advanced vocabulary and sentences from Uncle Murray.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what led the kittens to need help in Bad Kitty: Kitten Trouble. Was there anything the kittens could have done to prevent their situation? How should they behave when they get to Kitty's house?

  • What do you think about the paperboy? A long time ago, Kitty did something she thought was small but it had a big impact on the paperboy. Has that ever happened to you?

  • What other books have you read about animals or people trying to share their space?

Book details

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For kids who love early chapter books and funny stories

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